Sex-selective abortions in Armenia will cause an imbalance of gender in the country’s population and a future society of single men, according to reports.
In the former Soviet republic nation, baby boys are preferable to baby girls and women are often pressured to have abortions if they discover their fetus is female — with daughters only desired once a family has already welcomed sons.
From illustrated sex dreams to a guide to “queering herbalism” to comics about the queer and trans Armenian experience, the fourth annual NYC Feminist Zine Fest (FZF), held at Barnard College on Sunday, February 28, was a showcase of radical, DIY intersectionality.
Organized by poet Tai Maag, Barnard College zine librarian Jenna Freedman, artist Cassandra Leveille, and FZF co-founder Elvis B, among others, the fest hosted more than 60 zine-makers and artists who identify as feminists.
Many LGBT claim to fear violence in their workplace or from their family, and therefore, are said to not file complaints of claimed human rights violations or of criminal offences. Until 2003 the legislation of Armenia followed the corresponding Section 121 from the former Soviet Union penal code, which only specifically criminalized anal intercourse between men.
Many LGBT Armenians fear being socially outcast by their friends and families, causing them to keep their sexual orientation or gender identity private.I think it is easier to move a mountain in Armenia than talk about female sexuality. For that purpose, the nation’s defenders and perpetuators of Armenian values (the leaders, authorities, health workers, teachers, priests, fathers and mothers, brothers and uncles) take the liberty to decide in my place how I should act and how I should use my own body, so that I don’t harm the nation’s reputation by thinking about my own pleasure and wellbeing.How can you talk about something that does not exist in the first place? One of the first words a child learns is “.” And the word stays with you—especially if you are a woman—throughout your life.In a 2012 study, 55% of correspondents in Armenian stated that they would cease their relationship with a friend or relative if they were to come out as gay.Furthermore, this study found that 70% of Armenians find LGBT people to be "strange." The younger generation of Armenians still remain very unknowledgeable about many LGBT issues, likely attributed to the family culture where young people live at home until they reach the primary goal for many Armenians, heterosexual marriage.Under this new law, women seeking abortions must attend a counseling session with their doctor and then wait for a three-day “period of reflection” before having the procedure, regardless of the sex of the fetus.This attempt to address the boy-girl gap has been controversial.Yes, women in Armenia are “walking heads” and “working hands,” with no bodies of their own, no vagina, not even a clitoris (what’s that? Even if there is no one around to remind you out loud, it still resonates in your ears. Oddly enough, it seems that what I do with my own body as a woman—if I engage in sexual acts or not, when and with whom I decide to sleep with—is closely linked with the nation’s faith.“Our estimates showed that, if nothing changed, we would have 93,000 missing women by 2060,” says Garik Hayrapetyan, head of report galvanized government and civil society.In 2016, new legislation made sex-selective abortions illegal.